Did you notice the update that Google rolled- out early last week? According to Google it was their 20th Panda algorithm update and it was big news with as many as 2.4% of all English search queries being impacted, with a smaller 0.5% of all other language search results.
We first heard news of this update when Google pushed out an exact match domain update that removed the chances of a low-quality exact match domain from ranking well in Google. While the impact of this was minor (only 0.6% of English-US queries), webmasters soon noticed an impact to their rankings and it was then that Google finally dropped the news that there was indeed an a Panda update going on at the same time as the EMD update.
The official statement from Google says that the average user will be able to tell the difference after the update, but many sites are noticing their website’s search ranking has changed.
Here is the comment Google’s Matt Cutts sent us after asking about this update:
Google began rolling out a new update of Panda on Thursday, 9/27. This is actually a Panda algorithm update, not just a data update. A lot of the most-visible differences went live Thursday 9/27, but the full rollout is baking into our index and that process will continue for another 3-4 days or so. This update affects about 2.4% of English queries to a degree that a regular user might notice, with a smaller impact in other languages (0.5% in French and Spanish, for example).
What has left many webmasters confused is trying to determine whether they were hit by the exact match domain update or the Panda update. Google says that the two updates are unrelated, however Chris Crum from WebProNews speculates that this isn’t true:
Algorithmically speaking, I presume Cutts means the two have nothing to do with each other. However, in concept, the two are very similar in that they go after low quality. So, doesn’t it stand to reason that if you improve the quality of your content, you could actually recover from either update? That is assuming that the EMD update is one that can be recovered from. Let’s put it this way: if it’s possible to recover from the EMD update (which most likely it probably is), improving the quality of your site and content should be the main objective.
This just happens to be the same objective for recovering from Panda.
Was your website’s ranking impacted by either of these updates? Feel free to share your comments below.